The early bird catches the worm. I would learn the full meaning of that as I was strolling through downtown Santiago towards the presidential palace, right in time for the changing of the guards. I had read about the event of trip advisor, that it happens around 10am on some days. And that day happened to be my lucky day. To my delight I was able to capture a portion of the ceremony on video.
As you'll see in the video, there are white fences all around. Normally non-diplomats cannot get beyond the white fences. But for the changing of the guard they allow tourist and visitors to be on the front lawns to witness the ceremony. After the ceremony we were all politely ushered off the lawns. I feel really privileged to be able to have gotten as close to the presidential place as I was able to that day.
Chile has been a rather eclectic experience. It wasn't until I reached the city of Santiago from Buenos Aires that I realized how much I truly needed this break. The highly intense political situation in Argentina had zapped every last bit of energy out of me. But 3 days of eating completos (hotdogs piled with mayo and avocado), a trip to Valparaiso to visit one of Pablo Neruda's house, and shopping for things like copper pans and jewellry made of lapis lazuili, I felt like myself again.
(Pablo Neruda's house "La Sebastiana" )
On the subject of Pablo Neruda, I stumbled upon an interesting set of happenings that were going on in Chile. It has been long speculated that perhaps the Chilean poet didn't die of cancer but was in fact assassinated. On april the 8th, his body was exhumed from his home on Isla Negra (which I also had the privilege of visiting) and test are currently being run to determine the cause of death. The results will be released to the public within 6-8 wks and we will finally be able to put to rest whether he was poisoned or not.
Oh, did I mention that I had a brush with horse steak?